Monday, 6 July 2020

Back to 'normal'?

I think it’s safe to say that dust resting on our respective keyboards isn’t quite how we expected our first few months as bloggers to go… Anyone got one of those pressurised air cans?

Anyway, if you’re anything like me, a very large hole has been left behind since the railway shut down in March. The hustle and bustle of Race Week seems a distant memory now, as does most social contact, but ever so slowly the cogs are beginning to turn again as the GWSR looks to re-open next month.
A very quiet ‘Goods Shed’
All eyes are on 15 August and plans are underway to get the railway sorted and back to running order, albeit in a limited fashion. I wonder how many of the steam department are hoping they can make it to the barbers/escape the kitchen scissors before returning to the shed, or maybe are simply planning on displaying their new lockdown hairstyles with pride? Thanks to a decision to have a “pre-Cheltenham refresher”, not something I’ve had to worry about; phew!

One thing that will be different is we are saying farewell to 9466, who is leaving us to go back to its owner in the next few weeks.
9466 at Broadway in December
Technically not to do with the footplate but I was fortunate to have a couple of guard turns with it towards the end of last year and have heard good things from those who did get a chance to crew it. A brief stint at the GWSR this time but maybe will return again at some point.

Back in the shed, small pre-arranged working groups are beginning to find their way back to Toddington to prep the locos for their “return to work”. Some of the owning groups have also had similar working parties at their private sites, where possible, but to maintain social distancing and follow the official guidelines, all working groups are limited in size and are focussing on getting the engines back up and running again for August. The site remains closed to the public.
Dinmore Manor getting some well deserved TLC
Now that we’re in July, August doesn’t seem too far away and the excitement is beginning to bubble back up again (I may have nearly deafened a queue outside a fish and chip shop in Dymchurch when I found out about reopening). Luke, Tom and I are very grateful for your support both on here and at the railway and look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible.
4270's valves have been removed to be put onto new spindles (Ian Butler)
For all the information about reopening and the necessary changes to timetables, please head to the GWSR website and keep an eye on the various GWSR social media.

I should probably go and find my overalls.


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